The preseason is a joyous place, isn’t it? Everything is fun and nothing matters, save for the act of having said fun, and, you know, figuring out if your players are actually any good together. Maybe it also matters to see if your schemes work if you’re the coaching staff, but all of this is detracting from the main event: FUN! So, since this is the first Toronto Temperature of the (pre)season, what better way to honour it than to have a whole barrel of fun, right?
Let’s take the damn temperature of your brand-new Toronto Raptors!
Scottie Barnes, The Absolute Most Fun
Scottie Barnes: delightfully funky tonight. Ecstatic to have NBA basketball back pic.twitter.com/4fKwXvywX6— Jackson Frank (@jackfrank_jjf) October 5, 2021
Before we get into the monstrous amount of fun that is everything Scottie Barnes, look at the video above. Scottie is going top speed to throw his whole body at Furkan Korkmaz, bodily harm be damned.
Though he doesn’t detonate Furkan on impact — or touch him at all, how boring — Scottie gets himself most of the way down the court on the 3-point shot challenge and is wide open for a (really fun) Dalano Banton’s one-handed pass. That pass, thanks to some first night, playing-for-your-home-city’s-NBA-team jitters, was a tad off target, but Barnes’ Doc Ock arms managed to reign in it. The fun continues with Barnes throwing a brief-look, off-hand flip pass to the trailing Yuta Watanabe for the transition dunk.
Was that the only fun from Barnes on opening night? Of course it wasn’t!
Maybe this is more your speed?
Goran Dragic: “another preseason. ok.”— Rob Perez (@WorldWideWob) October 4, 2021
Scottie Barnes: pic.twitter.com/j9AAhuOYgA
Not fun is Goran trying to get Barnes to calm down, but big up to Scottie for going well beyond the exuberance barrier and continuing his rambunctious ways regardless of Old Man Dragon.
This heat check could go on for 10,000 more words, but let’s save some digital ink for more fun below!
Yuta Watanabe, Certainly Tons of Fun
Yuta Watanbe vs the 76ers in the pre-season— YUTA WATANABE FAN CLUB (@watanabefanclub) October 5, 2021
IN ONLY 16 MINUTES!!!!
Very solid outing and impressed Nick Nurse. Nick Nurse says Yuta is "certainly in the rotation right now." pic.twitter.com/wfYhH5xxty
Shout out to every Yuta Watanabe Fan Club member — everyone should join! Each and every one of you! The first applying member is going to be none other than Nicholas Nurse, who had so much fun watching Yuta be everywhere on defense while efficient and aggressive on offense that he sees Yuta as “in the rotation right now.”
Yuta gave the Raptors a little bit of everything in their 123-107 win over the 76ers. He looked confident in his three point shot, comfortable defending whoever he had to, no matter their size, and most importantly, looked like an NBA player.
OG Anunoby, Has There Ever Been Someone More Fun?
At Raptors media day, I challenged the team to draw the OVO logo in 60 seconds. You’ve seen the pictures (picture?), watch the process. I can’t tell you how much laughter I had to hold in pic.twitter.com/NsnR13KETt— Faizal Khamisa (@SNFaizalKhamisa) October 5, 2021
NO ONE — it’s the preseason and everyone is hot! Enjoy the heat, Raptors fans. There’s plenty more to come.